Anyone seen the movie Patch Adams?
Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams born in 1945 is an American physician, comedian, social activist, clown, and author who founded the Gesundheit! Institute in 1971.
He is 76 years old and is currently based in Urbana, Illinois, United States.
He also organises volunteers from around the world to travel to various countries where they dress as clowns to bring humour to orphans, patients, and other people.
But where did it all begin?
Adams was born in Washington, D.C. His father, a United States Army officer who fought in Korea, died while stationed in Germany when Adams was only 16.
After his father’s death, Adams returned to the United States with his mother and brother.
Adams has stated that upon his return he encountered institutional injustice which made him a target for bullies at school.
As a result, Adams was unhappy and became actively suicidal. After a third hospitalisation in one year, he decided “you don’t kill yourself, stupid; you make revolution.”
If you haven’t seen this movie! Please do yourself a favour and go watch it, because the revolution that follows the above statement is an incredible watch.
However, upon doing some research I stumbled across the fact that although the movie portrayed Patch Adams revolution correctly, they did not however portray “him” necessarily the way he would have liked.
What I found was a couple of facts that might make you cringe slightly:
The 1998 film
• It was heavily criticised by Adams as he said it avoided an accurate representation of his beliefs in favour of commercial viability. He said that out of all aspects of his life and activism, the film portrayed him merely as a funny doctor.
• Adams also said of Robin Williams in an interview, “He made 21 million dollars for four months of pretending to be me, in a very simplistic version, and did not even give 10 dollars to my free hospital. Patch Adams, the person, would have, if I had Robin’s money, given all 21 million dollars to a free hospital in a country where 80 million cannot get care.”
What… a… burn… but did these two really not like each other?
• In another interview, Adams did clarify that he did not dislike Williams saying, “I think Robin himself is compassionate, generous, and funny. I like to think that that’s who I am, and so I think he was the only actor I wanted to play me, and I think he did a fabulous job.”
• Williams also had actively supported St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in Memphis, Tennessee for several years.
Upon hearing of the death of Robin Williams, Adam’s released a massive statement which can be read fully here:
“The terrible news of the passing of Robin Williams reached me here in the Peruvian Amazon late Monday night with tremendous sadness. Surrounded by over 100 friends and clowns on our annual clown trip, we mourn this tragic loss and continue to treasure his comic genius. Robin Williams was a wonderful, kind and generous man.”
Although their relationship was rocky, I watched the movie and thought Williams did a fantastic job leading me through tears, smiles, laughter and downright heartbreak.
So if you’re keen, give it a go, or if you have definitely send us your opinions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org